Ex EastEnders: 'The show felt like coming home'

Martin Kemp and Gillian Taylforth have paid tribute to EastEnders and told of the battle between actors to grab the classic 'duff duff' cliffhangers.

Gillian, who played Kathy from the start of the soap, and Spandau Ballet member Martin, who was bad boy Steve, spoke on BBC Breakfast ahead of the first ever live episode on Friday to mark the soap's 25th anniversary.

Martin said: "Those classic 'duff duff' moments, the last scene of every episode, are the thing that we kind of live for on this programme and when I was here it was a competition to see who could get that 'duff duff' moment."

He said he had felt a 'huge responsibility' coming on to the show, which is watched by his family.

"Everybody loved it," he said.

He said Albert Square reminded him of growing up in the Islington area of London.

"I was born next door to a pub... which looks exactly like this," he said. "Kind of like a feeling of coming home."

Gillian told how she 'felt quite emotional' about returning.

She said of landing the job: "We had a contract for six months with an option for 18 months after that. And I just thought after six months I'd be going and after 18 months I'd go back to my secretarial job and I might have lost my speed by that time, I thought.

"But I couldn't believe it. When it was going on for another couple of years I thought, well, it might last sort of five, and we had a fifth year anniversary. And then it went on after that and here we are at 25 years. It's wonderful, wonderful."

Source - Whats on tv

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